I sit here writing and eating, smiling at everyone that passes by and glancing at my blackberry from time to time so as not to miss a ping. Yes! I’m fine if not perfect! It’s the 26th of January and I’m thankful to be alive today. I think about friends and family long gone, I think about people I’ve met along the way.

I think about a brave little girl I used to know…

I remember how she was always the healthiest in her family because when other children had pox, cough, cold, fevers or whatever, she was the very strong and playful girl who fought with boys and hawked the street of Mushin, she would get back home everyday dirty and sweaty but never wanting to take a shower because she was hydrophobic. At the age of 7, she became an athlete but always ran long distance races because short distance got her weak (probably due to some aerobic and anaerobic reason in her body, nobody ever wondered). She had finally found her niche, something that made her even happier than rough playing with boys, she was made sports prefect in her fifth year in primary school and was assigned to run for her local govt but her parents said NO. Apparently, they had started to notice that this thing that their daughter loved so much had begun to make her sick. YES, science says a lot of sports and exercise gives you a healthy and longer life but it seemed like the more sports she did, the more she felt sick.

She had a first major breakdown just a few days to her common entrance examinations but her parents were always on the road and so being the brave little girl that she was, she had to brace up and stay strong.

On her 9th birthday however, after the examinations, her little girl strength couldn’t hold her up any longer, she remembered getting home and playing with her siblings and then waking up in the family hospital to the cries of her mother who had probably been weeping non-stop. She immediately jumped up because she’s never liked hospitals and cried that she was fine and wanted to go home, her dad however explained to her that she’d be there for 3 days so as to get properly examined. She was discharged on Day 2, the doctor prescribed drugs (she didnt like drugs also). Life went on and she was fine for the entire year.

I met her again in the year 2000, when she gained admission into a secondary school and continued her career of being an athlete, she would not only run but jump, throw and play table tennis, she was the heart of her house as they wondered how she could pull all that off because she was very young and tiny. In her opinion, the most amazing thing she’s ever done was run a short distance race and won. She always did from 800m upwards, and she was strong. And she was having the time of her life because she was once again doing this thing that she loved so much.
Then on this faithful day, after a race, she fell down and couldn’t breathe, unlike the first time when she passed out, she could hear everyone and she saw the fear in all their faces and this scared her too. She was rushed to the sick bay, the school nurse asked if she was asthmatic and she said no as she’d never been diagnosed with asthma. She then asked the brave little girl lots of questions and concluded that it could be asthma.

Her parents went to get her from school the next day for further consultation with the family doctor who said it wasn’t asthma but simply the result of stress. He prescribed drugs and advised her to remain at home for one week before returning to school, she however couldn’t bear to stay at home for long because she was missing sports and friends. She returned to school 3days later to resume sports and her normal activities, her sports master and guardian were worried but she assured them she was fine because for this brave little girl, sports was what was important because it made her happy. She was a star for the next three years in school even though she was constantly sick, she was able to work around school, sports and her health. And although her parents had banned her from attending any major competitions, she was happy still.

She got special treatments in school from teachers and friends and at home she was never allowed into the kitchen because dust, smoke, cold, heat all got her gasping for air.

Trying to boil water for her dad one faithful afternoon, the stove caught fire, the kitchen door was closed and in her fear and confusion, she fell and hit her head on the door and passed out, her dad heard and she was rushed to a nearby hospital and was revived and referred to her family hospital where she passed out again, she remained unconscious for 2days, her mum was with her throughout and this brave little girl felt really bad because now she was the only one that was frequently ill. The doctor finally diagnosed asthma but referred her to a specialist for confirmation, she was immediately given an inhaler. The next week she went to see a specialist (whose name I won’t like to tell).

The doctor wrote different tests that would be done on different dates and the little girl wondered why it would take so long but she was patient and ready to find solution to whatever was wrong, few weeks later her personal doctor made an appointment to see them again to discuss the results of the tests and she just sensed that it was serious, she cried all night and prayed to God not to let her parents cry over her. She was the first to get set on the appointed day, they got to the hospital and waited for their appointment time and the time was just extra slow. Finally, they saw the doctor and he said “your daughter is going to be fine if we all want her to be”(why won’t they want her to be fine?) “She has a swollen heart in conjunction with asthma but she will overcome it with time and was given one year if well managed because it’s not chronic” she was so relieved, so were her parents, they all sighed in relief. She was administered drugs and injections.

She made her inhaler her new baby and took it everywhere; she took extra care when she got into university to avoid dust, smoke, stress, heat and every other thing she had been told to avoid to remain healthy. The saddest part for her thought was that she was advised to stop sports, this thing that she loved so much could cause real problems for her if she didn’t stay away, try as she could though, she couldn’t, so she just limited herself to tennis and one race per season and she still did well and was happy.

Two years gone she had graduated from secondary school, still I wanted to know did she eventually testify or is her long ill self still battling with what the doctors have to say?. In her eyes were tears as she spoke to me and said M’ade it’s been 6years…

To be continued……………

edited by: @aeyshadeedee

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